Thirty-four-year-old Takeya Nakamura is in the final year of a four-year contract. The media learned on November 7 that Nakamura is not expected to exercise his option and will most likely agree a new one-year deal.
[UPDATE 11/11 @ 12:13am]
Nakamura spoke to reporters on November 10 and said he was planning to stay with the Lions.0 Comments
Thirty-three-year-old Yoshihisa Hirano filed for free agency earlier today. A number of MLB teams, including the Cardinals and Red Sox, have shown some interest in the reliever.
Hirano spoke to reporters today and said he seriously started to think about the Majors this year after he found out MLB teams were asking if he was going to exercise his option. He received a nice offer from the Buffaloes, but for the time being, his top priority is to sign with an MLB team that wants him and will give him a chance to play.
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Thirty-six-year-old Shinya Tsuruoka is planning to exercise his free agent option. He exercised his first option after the 2013 season and signed with the Softbank Hawks. He re-earned the option this year and would like to go to a team that will give him more playing time. He was a third catcher for the Hawks this year, behind Takuya Kai and Hiroaki Takaya. Tsuruoka played in twenty-nine games this season and got the start at catcher twice.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/6/2017
[UPDATE 11/7 @ 3:59pm]
Tsuruoka filed for free agency today. He told reporters he wanted a chance to start over from scratch with a shot at winning the everyday job behind home plate.0 Comments
The Softbank Hawks announced today that Daisuke Matsuzaka will not be returning to the team next year. They also released the following statement from Matsuzaka:
To members of the Softbank Hawks organization and to Hawks fans, I am sorry I could not live up to expectations over the last three years. If I could, I would proudly be with the rest of the players celebrating the team’s victory…
To the staff that help me with my rehab until the very end, to Kimiyasu Kudo for listening to everything I had to say, to the coaches, to my teammates, and to the fans that sent warm cheers, each of your voices provided me with support.
There are not enough words, so I feel the only way to express my gratitude is by pitching off a mound at Ichi-gun. I hope to make it back to the field some day so that I can once again see my fans and teammates.
Source: Softbank 11/5/2017
[UPDATE 11/7 @ 3:05pm]
Tokyo Sports mentions an interesting scenario involving Matsuzaka and former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez playing for the same team. The Kochi Fighting Dogs have no money, but would be more than happy to give Matsuzaka a place to train and play. Ramirez played for Kochi this year and could return next year (the team submitted an offer and is waiting for an answer).
Source: Tokyo Sports 11/7/2017
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Thirty-one-year-old Kenji Akashi earned his domestic free agent option earlier this year in May. The media learned on November 4 that there is a chance he might exercise the option. He is open to staying with the Softbank Hawks, but he is also interested in testing the free agent market. A number of teams, including Lotte, could be interested in his services.
Source: Sponichi 11/5/20170 Comments
The Yokohama Bay Stars are planning to offer Joe Wieland, Spencer Patton and Edwin Escobar contracts for the 2018 season. They will most likely part with Phil Klein and Elian Herrera. Audy Ciriaco is a question mark with the Bay Stars also considering Neftali Soto.
Jose Lopez will be in the second year of a two-year contract next year.
[UPDATE 11/8 @ 11:08pm]
The Bay Stars announced today that reached agreements with Patton and Wieland. They also announced that they will not be offering new contracts to Klein and Herrera.
According to media reports, Patton and Wieland agreed to one-year contracts worth an estimated 130 million yen.
[UPDATE 11/10 @ 11:59pm]
The Bay Stars announced today that they will not be offering Ciriaco a contract for the 2018 season.
Source: Yokohama 11/10/2017
[UPDATE 11/12 @ 5:09pm]
Escobar will most likely return to the Bay Stars next season.
Source: Nikkan Sports 11/12/20170 Comments
Keisuke Tanimoto earned his domestic free agent option this year. The Chunichi Dragons submitted their offer during a meeting on October 27. They also informed him that they are okay with him exercising his option and remaining with the team.
Tanimoto felt wanted during negotiations, but is also curious about what other teams might offer him. He is slated to meet the Dragons again soon.
Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2017
[UPDATE 11/4 @ 1:52pm]
Tanimoto first met the Dragons on October 28. He is scheduled to meet with them again within the next day or so. The Dragons would like him to stay (they knew he had an option but still traded for him because they wanted to add him to their team) and will leave the door open for him even if he exercises his option. They are not planning to set a hard deadline for his decision.
[UPDATE 11/6 @ 3:31pm]
Tanimoto may now be leaning toward staying with the Dragons. Team Representative Kazuo Nishiyama told reporters on November 5 that negotiations were going well and that a decision might be coming some time soon.
Source: Sports Hochi 11/6/20170 Comments
Yoshifumi Okada earned his domestic free agent option earlier this year in April. He spoke to reporters on October 30 and said that he was planning to stay with Lotte. A team official has already told him that he is a part of their plans for 2018.
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/20170 Comments
Yuki Karakawa earned his domestic free agent option in April this year. He told reporters on October 30 that he felt it would be best to continue playing for Lotte next year. He did not say anything more concrete since he has not yet met with the Chiba Lotte Marines. The team has, however, already told him that they consider him to be a part of their plans next season.0 Comments
The media learned that the Hiroshima Carp are not planning to offer twenty-eight-year-old Bradin Hagens a contract for 2018. The Carp are also not planning to offer new contracts to thirty-year-old Ryan Brasier and thirty-two-year-old Ramiro Pena. Hiroshima will most likely make a decision on twenty-nine-year-old Jay Jackson after seeing what else is available.
Thirty-three-year-old Kris Johnson will be in the second year of a three-contract next year. Thirty-seven-year-old Brad Eldred will be in the second year of a two-year contract. The Carp locked up twenty-five-year-old Xavier Batista and twenty-four-year-old Alejandro Mejia to six-year contracts this year.
[UPDATE 11/2 @ 3:43pm]
The Carp announced on November 1 that they were not going to offer Hagens, Brasier, and Pena contracts for the 2018 season.
Source: Sanspo 11/1/2017
[UPDATE 11/3 @ 8:55pm]
Jackson returned home on November 3.
Source: Daily Sports 11/3/2017
[UPDATE 11/4 @ 1:45pm]
Jackson would like to return to Hiroshima next year. He is apparently open to playing for other NPB teams, if it comes down to that.
[UPDATE 11/22 @ 1:10am]
Batista and Mejia left Japan on November 21 for the Dominican Republic.
Source: Daily Sports 11/21/20170 Comments